High-volume hemofiltration in children with acute liver failure. (Williams)

Chevret L, Durand P, Lambert J, Essouri S, Balu L, Devictor D, Tissieres P. High-volume hemofiltration in children with acute liver failure*. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2014 Sep;15(7):e300-5.


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OBJECTIVES: High-volume hemofiltration has shown beneficial effects in severe sepsis and multiple organ failure, improving hemodynamics and fluid balance. Recent studies suggest that acute liver failure shares many pathophysiologic similarities with sepsis. Therefore, we assessed the systemic effects of high-volume hemofiltration inchildren with acute liver failure.

DESIGN: Retrospective observational cohort study.

PATIENTS: Twenty-two children.

SETTING: Forty-two-bed multidisciplinary pediatric and neonatal ICUs in a tertiary university hospital.

INTERVENTION: We evaluated high-volume hemofiltration therapy as part of standard management of 22 childrenadmitted in our unit for acute liver failure. Fifteen patients had fulminant hepatic failure, three had acute-on-chronic liver disease, and four had primary nonfunction. High-volume hemofiltration was initiated in patients requiring emergency liver transplantation and when hepatic encephalopathy grade higher than 2 and/or hemodynamic instability requiring vasopressors occurred. High-volume hemofiltration was defined by a flow of ultrafiltrate of more than 80 mL/kg/hr. Clinical and biological variables were assessed before and 24 and 48 hours after initiation of high-volume hemofiltrationtherapy.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: High-volume hemofiltration was initiated with a median grade III of hepatic encephalopathy. The median flow of ultrafiltrate was 119 mL/kg/hr (range, 80-384). After 24 hours of high-volumehemofiltration treatment, we observed an increase in mean arterial pressure (p = 0.0002) and a decrease in serum creatinine (p = 0.0002). In half of the patients, the encephalopathy grade decreased. After 48 hours of treatment, mean arterial pressure (p = 0.0005), grade of hepatic encephalopathy (p = 0.04), and serum creatinine (p = 0.0002) improved. Overall mortality was 45.4% (n = 10). Emergency liver transplantation was performed in eight children. Five patients spontaneously recovered liver function.

CONCLUSIONS: High-volume hemofiltration therapy significantly improves hemodynamic stability and neurological status in children with acute liver failure awaiting for emergency liver transplantation.